Austin Energy is bringing its EVs Are For EVeryone campaign to public schools in the community as part of its EVs For Schools initiative. In partnership with ChargePoint and Smart Charge America, the company is providing dual port charging stations to four high and middle schools in the Austin Independent School District. The program kicked off with a ceremony at Akins high school on November 14.
At a time when citizens, corporations, and governments are considering what the most effective and efficient ways are to promote electric cars, education is one approach that is frequently overlooked. Not only will the charging stations be available for use by faculty and staff members, they can also be used by students, parents, and school visitors.
Austin Energy says the school charging stations will be a living laboratory that will allow students to collect data and measure usage. Participating schools will receive a teacher kit and specialized training in a STEM curriculum that teaches students about electric vehicles, green energy, and sustainable mobility. The curriculum materials are expressly designed to meet Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards.
Austin Energy’s EVs Are For EVeryone initiative seeks to bring knowledge about electric mobility to all members of the local community including low and moderate income neighborhoods. The goal is to create a future of mobility that is equitable, affordable and accessible while helping the environment the company says.
“Success with this unique partnership will help Austin achieve its affordability and climate protection goals and opens the door to launch programs like it in other schools and school districts in the Austin area,” says Jackie Sargent, general manager of Austin Energy. There are plans to install charging equipment at 17 other schools in the AISD area in coming months. “We are grateful to all of our partners that made this happen,” said AISD sustainability manager Darien G. Clary. “It shows a commitment not only to environmental stewardship but to exciting and innovative approaches to learning.”
Austin Energy has created a Plug-In EVerywhere program for the Austin area that allows members to charge their electric cars at more than 700 local public charging stations for the modest sum of $4.17 a month. It also offers rebates to commercial and residential customers who install charging equipment at their business or residential locations. And here’s the best news of all. Every electron those 700+ chargers dispense comes from wind power, thanks to Austin Energy’s GreenChoice program.
Federal tax credits are one way to promote electric mobility, but there may be other avenues available that are just as effective while costing taxpayers less money. Kudos to Austin Energy for putting together a diverse array of options designed to make driving an electric car easy and affordable for its customers.
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